The second best team in the world plays the ninth best team in the world, are 21-3 up with more than 30 minutes to play, but hang onto to win 21-10 with the most of the possession and territory stats going in favour of the ninth best team, and the coach and captain laud the fight of the second best team?
“Athough we made a lot of mistakes I am still happy with the performance and the character of this team has improved,” said coach Heyneke Meyer, who also said he was happy to bank an ugly win over a defeat …
I just cannot imagine either Steve Hanson or Richie McCaw uttering those words after a second half like the one seen from the Boks at Murrayfield. So are the Boks happy to scrap it out with Australia, France and England for that second spot on the log while the All Blacks skip off into the sunset?
To be honest, I do feel a little bad about bagging the Boks for their creatively challenged approach to the game after eking out wins on tour at the end of a long, long season. Especially as seasoned campaigners like Bryan Habana and Corne Krige heap praise on the side for their gutsy defence.
But then I remind myself that these guys are the bloody Springboks, not the Sweet Valley U12B’s … The Springboks should absolutely not be settling for second place on the IRB rankings. The Springboks should be bitter about the All Blacks being so much better than they are at the moment and should be doing absolutely everything in their power to be not only world beaters but world leaders.
And that simply cannot include lauding the defensive efforts against the 8th and 9th ranked sides, even when playing in their patch at the end of the season …
Please at least have the decency to concede the fact that watching grass grow is fast becoming a more entertaining spectacle than watching the Boks play …
“Wow, what a crap game of rugby, and that is not something we as a team are striving toward, or proud of, but in an attempt to grow our depth and evolve as a team, eking out an ugly win is better for team morale than a loss” would be more acceptable from Meyer as he at least takes cognizance of the SA rugby fan’s intellect …
Look, he would still be lying as he certainly does not look to have any intent in evolving the Bok game, and that for me, is the saddest part of the current regime.
It was fantastic to see the smiling face of Juan de Jongh on the park for the Boks. Smiling because he enjoys his rugby and wants to play a game that entertains not only himself, but also his team mates and fans. Let’s get these highly skilled individuals enjoying themselves again …
Current IRB World Rankings:
1 NEW ZEALAND 92.91
2 SOUTH AFRICA 85.50
3 AUSTRALIA 84.82
4 FRANCE 84.58
5 ENGLAND 83.09
6 WALES 80.60
7 ARGENTINA 80.29
8 IRELAND 79.04
9 SCOTLAND 77.97
10 SAMOA 77.14